Condolences pour in from world leaders on passing of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej is shown Dec 2, 2007, as he is driven past a military parade on the Royal Plaza in Bangkok that kicked off celebrations for his 80th birthday on Dec 5.
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej is shown Dec 2, 2007, as he is driven past a military parade on the Royal Plaza in Bangkok that kicked off celebrations for his 80th birthday on Dec 5. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

As news of the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej began to sink in, condolences over his passing slowly began to come in from around the world.

The revered king, who had ruled for 70 years, died in Siriraj Hospital at on Thursday (Oct 13) afternoon. He was 88.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recalled meeting the king in 2009 during the Asean Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand.

He wrote in a Facebook post: "He was a most gracious host and took a close interest in ASEAN programmes to promote economic growth and development.

"On behalf of Singapore, I offer my deepest condolences to the Royal Family & people of Thailand on their sad loss. May King Bhumibol rest in peace."

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was one of the first world leaders to send his condolences.

"My heartfelt condolences to the royal family and people of Thailand on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej," he wrote on his Twitter account.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also conveyed his sadness on Twitter.

"People of India and I join the people of Thailand in grieving the loss of one of the tallest leaders of our times, King Bhumibol Adulyadej," he wrote in a tweet.

In a second post, Mr Modi wrote: "King Bhumibol Adulyadej or Rama 9, was widely revered by his people. My thoughts are with his countless well-wishers & family."

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a statement: "We join the rest of Asean in mourning the passing of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej."

The Belgian royal family said it was "deeply saddened".

"We extend our deepest condolences to his family and all those he left behind," said the statement from office of the presidential spokesperson.

US President Barack Obama said the king was a "tireless champion" of Thailand's development.

"As the revered leader and only monarch that most Thais have ever known, His Majesty was a tireless champion of his country's development and demonstrated unflagging devotion to improving the standard of living of the Thai people," Mr Obama said in a White House statement.

US Secretary of State said in a statement that the king led Thailand with "integrity and compassion". He added that King Bhumibol was the only monarch to be born in the United States. 

He born in Cambridge in the US state of Massachusetts on December 5, 1927. His father, Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, was studying at Harvard then.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he hoped Thailand will honour King Bhumibol's legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human rights, his spokesman said in a statement.

Singapore's Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also sent his condolences in a post on Facebook.

"His Majesty was a wise and much loved monarch who did much for the people of Thailand," he wrote.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said the king left an indelible legacy. "Throughout his reign, His Majesty worked tirelessly to improve the well-being of the people of Thailand," he wrote. 

"His many travels to the provinces and rural areas of Thailand, listening to the people’s concerns, and finding solutions to improve their lives, showed his deep care and concern."

 

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